Dear Nikhil (& et all),
                        Request to NOT take it personally. Whatever you are
doing is a great initiative and really appreciable. But these comments are
not to undermine your efforts.
                        Srikanth's reply should completely explain why Shiju
was trying to make a point and IMHO, they are valid ones. These best
practices are based on previous experiences and not any knee jerk comments (
Sorry, No pun intended).
                        Please note that even this is the practice for project for English wiki , supplied to schools
of "more liberalized" countries.
                        The question is neither about the format of this
information provided nor about the number of articles. 500 ? 2500? 25000?
Ship it on a CD, thumb drive, DVD or even Blueray discs or any other medium
..Any number of articles is accepted, provided we are able to provide them
quality content. I can personally vouch that more than half the content on
our Wikipedia is crap. Yes I mean it. And but the reason we are all here is
to convert them this crap to more useful stuff.

Tinu Cherian

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Srikanth Lakshmanan <>wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 00:50, Nikhil Sheth <> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I had a great time reading the blogpost. Very amusing. But had to clarify
>> some things before we all pick up our pitch-forks and torches, so..
> I think you took it a bit personal. Shiju's blogpost IMHO is a good guide
> especially for Indian languages CD creation project. Giving ZIM format dumps
> has some adverse effects which was what Shiju tried to share as a best
> practice. I think they are valid concerns. Let me explain.
> I think he clearly mentioned about the project
> for English wiki and there is no problem in such approaches. I think the
> blog post was mainly addressing the impact of giving whole dumps of Indian
> language wikipedia's, all [except English(Yes, English is also an Indian
> langugage)] of which are in their early stages.
> Sometime back i proposed a similar CD creation project on tamil wikipedia
> and thought given that Santhosh's software is available, we could get a CD
> in couple of month's time. My timeline was rightfully mocked at by the
> community, with valid concerns on quality and we have just started
> collecting articles, which will then be peer reviewed, copy edited etc
> before we could use the software and create a CD. Along with Shiju's points,
> I am sharing some important viewpoints(which i learnt from tamil community),
> why i think the whole exercise of fact checking and releasing is very
> important instead of just dumping them in the case of Indian language
> wikipedia's.
> ** Who had checked the validity of the content provided in the CD? Once the
> CD is created, the content is frozen for ever. We never know in what ways
> the content in CD is going to get duplicated.
> >>This is very important. Imagine students using it to write answers for
> exams using this and if there is a factual error and teacher fails to give
> marks, the students will never ever turn back to Wikipedia again.We are
> loosing young buds here. While you might say Wikipedia is not reliable for
> information source, but you can use it, for a school kid, its always
> binary.Indian language wikipedia's are bound to have more spelling
> mistakes(since most of us use a non native keyboard / translation and we are
> human), the error rate will be even higher. Its not just about schools,
> anyone who is find such errors in a published form(CD is a published form
> you cant change) will find it annoying and may arrive at a prejudice which
> we wouldnt want.
> **How we are going to handle the copyright violation of text and images
> included in the CD? Can we always point our fingers to WMF?
> >> This is very serious issue, its a different thing that we as individuals
> might not respect copyright because of the climate in India, but as a
> project Wikipedia holds copyright as one of the 5 pillars(Do I need to tell
> this list about this, sorry *runs away* :D).
> **Who will answer the queries related to the  explicit images contained in
> many articles. The inclusion of explicit images, controversial articles, and
> factual errors in the CD supplied to the school children are not small
> issues.
> >> Not many know, Shiju may be sharing this because malayalam community
> actually burnt their fingers here. There was a (politically motivated?)
>  article in leading malayalam daily/magazine criticizing the effort
> regarding inclusion criteria / some factual erroneous information.This may
> not have been shared widely to avoid multiplication of negative publicity.
> While at personal level it hurts the people who worked hard for this after
> spending weeks for the project, at project level it creates a negative
> publicity / impact for language wikipedia which none of us would want.
> >> On the content side as well, Indian wikipedia's arent that great(barring
> few). The Stub ratio may be high which will give a wrong impression of
> language wikipedia's to people using the offline ZIM dumps that language
> wikipedia's will only have templated content stubs. While its good to have
> stubs online, since they help in improvement of articles, i dont fancy stubs
> on an offline wikipedia.
> >> While giving ZIM format dumps might be useful for people without
> connectivity, IMHO its definitely not suitable for mass consumption without
> a bunch of disclaimers (which might not even be understood by well educated)
> >> While the intentions may be good, that shouldnt cause a negative impact
> to the language wikipedia is the bottom line.I hope you understand.(This was
> probably missing in Shiju's blog post which made you think it was a pointing
> fingers, but I am sure Shiju's intention was to share his "bottom line")
> Regards
> Srikanth.L
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